Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Tuesday XI: Legion of Doom Edition

By "The Other 87 Minutes" / Senior Unemployed English Major Correspondents
Way back in April, in what I'm pretty sure was our first-ever Tuesday XI, we devised a lineup of superheroes, ready to take the pitch against all-comers. Here now at last, we've found the comers, an opposition squad ready to give those heroes the fight of their lives, or at least a game every now and then on Sundays. Here's the Supervillain XI:
GK – Doctor Octopus – Just when attackers finally make it through our defense, they’ll face an impenetrable tangle of Doc Ock’s titanium arms.
LB – Taskmaster – Taskmaster has a pretty fascinating power, something his Wikipedia page calls “photographic reflexes.” It’s the ability to copy a physical activity merely by viewing it, one step down from what the direct-to-brain downloading they do in the Matrix. Long story short, we show him some tape of Paolo Maldini and Roberto Carlos, and end up with the best left back the world has ever seen.
Kneel before Zod
LCB – General Zod – Our team of heroes sports Superman up top, so the villains have converted all-action Zod into a centerback to match his threat.
RCB – Juggernaut – All power and no restraint; he’ll go through the man, the ref, the goalposts, and the first few rows of the terraces to get his helmeted head on the ball.
RB – The Super Skrull – His ability to replicate the powers of each member of the Fantastic Four gives him the kind of versatility we need in our outside backs.
LCDM – Lex Luthor – Always one step ahead of the enemy, even if he tends to fall short just as he’s preparing to deliver the final ball. Dominates the center just as he bosses the Legion from the center chair.
RCDM – Kraven the Hunter – Agile, powerful, and with a preternatural sense for sniffing out danger and smothering it in the crib.
Why Always Me meets Why So Serious
LAM – The Joker – Wild and unpredictable, yes, but a genius nonetheless. Think Mario Balotelli, only evil.
CAM – Loki – Though he only recently took the place of our former playmaker Magneto, who was banned for life for doping the ball with metal fragments, the trickster god’s unbridled creativity and talent for deception mean our team doesn’t miss a bit.
RAM – Captain Cold – Any defense is easy to get through once they’ve been stopped cold.
CF – Bullseye – A center forward who never misses? Yes, please.
Here, for the purpose of comparison, is the lineup of our heroic squad:

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The Other 87 seeks to provide something that’s not instant analysis or eve of matchday previews. Think of us as the good bits of your favorite soccer coverage: the profiles that examine what makes a certain player tick, the historical background that sheds some light on how the sport has evolved to the present day, the silly features that are more than just tacking names on a list, but considering and explaining why each one deserves to be there.
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“When you play a match, it is statistically proven that players actually have the ball three minutes on average. The best players – the Zidanes, Ronaldinhos, Gerrards – will have the ball maybe four minutes. Lesser players – defenders – probably two minutes. So, the most important thing is: what do you do those 87 minutes when you do not have the ball…. That is what determines whether you’re a good player or not.” –Johann Cruyff

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